Investments in China's retail real estate market hit a record last year, with transactions made beyond the traditional first-tier cities accounting for over half of the total value, according to a latest industry research.
Investors pumped in a total of 26.5 billion yuan (US$4.2 billion) in major retail properties across the country, or 30 percent of the total commercial real estate investments in 2011, Jones Lang LaSalle said in a report released yesterday. The firm tracks purchases of individual retail property worth more than 30 million yuan around the country.
"This was an impressive figure, given the challenging liquidity conditions in the broader economy," said Alan Li, head of investment for Jones Lang LaSalle Shanghai. "The increase allocation to the sector and extension beyond Tier I cities suggest that some investors have already aligned their investment strategies to capitalize on the nascent economic transformation process."
The domestic and Asian investors, especially Singapore-listed groups, were dominant as they took up 90 percent of the acquisitions, according to the research.
The domestic investors were also major sellers last year, accounting for nearly 80 percent of total value.
Shopping centers continued to be popular among investors, attracting 86 percent of the overall investments, the research showed.